One of the best things about working on our upcoming guidebook is having the chance to do something we absolutely love: Beer Travel. We’ve had the opportunity to explore places long on our list, but some of the best trails and ales we’ve checked out recently were in places we never expected.
To kick-off this holiday season, we’d love to give you a little peek into one of the hike-brewery pairings that will be featured in our book!
The following is a guest post by our globe-trotting buddy, Nathan Anderson of The Open Road Before Me. Read on for Nathan's account of trail and ale adventures in New Zealand, and be sure to check out his site for more adventurous travel stories!
When I moved to the North Island of New Zealand, I wanted to be somewhere central. Somewhere I could use as an adventure hub, sallying forth to explore what the North had to offer. When I got a job as a receptionist in Taupo, I got just what I was looking for. Taupo is about as central as you can get, and is snug on the northern shore of the largest lake (by surface area) in New Zealand. Volcano cones and pillars of steam dot the horizon, and adventure activities abound.
Among our international trips have been several jaunts up to British Columbia, our favorite local getaway. We turned our research into an article in Mount Baker Experience, a quarterly magazine detailing "Adventures in the Pacific Northwest". Check out B.C. hikes, brews and gondola views!
May is the perfect month for travel around Japan--the weather is starting to warm up, but without the heat and humidity of the summer rainy season. Beers at the Bottom spent the month of May making the most of weekends off by exploring the Kanto region of Japan, hiking and sampling the offerings of Japan's fledgling craft beer scene. If there's one peak synonymous with Japan, it's Mount Fuji--so here's a Fuji Go-Ko trail and ale pairing from the across the Pacific.
It was a beautiful spring day when my friend Nathan and I hiked to the top of Seoul's crown jewel, Namsan. I had arrived in Korea from Thailand, anxious to bag some (low) peaks and enjoy a decent pint of craft beer. Fortunately there are a couple breweries near Namsan's base - a perfect excuse to launch Beers at the Bottom: International Edition.
A New Chapter
We started Beers at the Bottom less than a year ago (July 2013) and since then have covered 15 hikes and 11 breweries in 2 countries throughout Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. In the last several months we volunteered at beer festivals, participated in Bellingham Beer Week, and met some incredible people along the way. Perhaps our proudest moment thus far has been publishing a feature article in Washington Trails Magazine. Thank you all for your support - it's been a great adventure!
Today we're excited to announce a new chapter: Beers at the Bottom is going international! Rachel has accepted a 1-year teaching position in Japan, starting next week. Brandon is taking this as an opportunity to travel himself, and also leaves next week on a 3-month trip to Asia.
We plan on taking about a month off from blogging to get settled overseas. Fear not though, for in late April/early May we'll be back at it, reviewing hikes and breweries from Korea and Japan. Brandon will return home just in time for summer - the perfect time to cover more PNW trails and ales. Rachel intends to blog from Japan about hiking and the craft beer scene, along with tidbits about Japanese culture.
We look forward to sharing more beers at the bottom together, and with you all--our dear readers.
Brandon and Rachel
Beers at the Bottom
Last week we featured Part 1 of our BC Beer Sojourn. Today, the adventure continues with Train Wreck Trail and Whistler Brewing Company.
BC Beer Sojourn: Squamish to Whistler
The first sojourn we'd like to share with you, dear readers, is a jaunt up the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia, Canada.